affair recovery

A Bike of Integrity

Recovering from a double life and restoring a marriage after infidelity is the furthest thing from easy that I have ever experienced. It was brought to my attention that some people believe I am making this look easy. The reality is quite the opposite. This last month has brought to life a new kind of pain and new weight to the gravity of my sin that I never fully understood. However, it has brought a new strength I never understood, as well.

For the sake of imagery, I will liken it to riding a bicycle. For the last year, I was on a bike that I was trying to pedal uphill, with 200 pounds of weight on my back. I was not making progress towards the heart of God–I was actually being pulled backwards into a deep pit. The level of anxiety I carried was unlike anything I had ever experienced.

And, I was alone.

I did not open myself up to anyone with the emotional or spiritual maturity to help me overcome my temptations and turn away from my sin. For someone like me, who shares so much of what she is feeling with those who are willing to listen, I was wedged into a place that seemed inescapable. The lies of what would happen if I confessed my sin, held me captive. I did not imagine the forgiveness I have received. I was far from the heart of God, and I was unable to believe His love for me would be enough to carry me.

Over the last month, I have been on a different kind of bike ride.

The bike is light, and it has training wheels which have been reattached in the form of complete honesty and accountability and most importantly, I am not alone. I have others with me on the journey; praying for me and praying with me. They are the ones who have chosen to stay by my side even though they now know the truth of my hypocrisy, and the length of time that I lived in it. I have the Holy Spirit inside me–alive and pushing my legs with a strength that is not my own. In some ways, it looks like this:

photo 2

And this is what I want it to look like.

I want to have a childlike faith, a belief that God still has a plan for me that includes goodness and purity. So, this is what I dwell on and this is what I present in social media. When I focus on the good, I am not ignoring the pain that others are facing. I am aware of that pain, and it is a burden I will carry for the rest of my life. Because of the burden of what I have done to other people, because of the work that it takes to relearn how to live honestly, and because of the memories that come up from an inappropriate connection to the wrong person, there are many moments where I feel more broken than I can express with words. In many ways, it looks like this:

photo 1

I have moments where I feel like I have crashed and I am beat up. I cannot concentrate on those moments. I will not dwell on the past to the degree that I give the enemy a new foothold in my life.  I have to wash my face and get back on my bicycle. I have to lift my eyes to the cloudy sky and trust that the clouds will eventually move on.

I lived as a hypocrite for quite some time, and I have no desire to go back to that lifestyle. I want God’s wisdom to reach my innermost parts so that I can be a person of true integrity.

Living in truth means owning all my choices and fears to those who are closest to me. It does not mean owning them to everyone who is watching me.

God is using this terrible time in our marriage so that we can recognize where we need to be transformed as individuals. Being transformed individually is mandatory for us to be able to have a marriage unlike the one we had for many years. Idolatry was the first sin that led me to adultery. I allowed the opinions of others to matter more than the opinions of God and those of my husband.

So, know the truth. Some days I am outside in the sunshine riding a small bike with those who stuck around, and some days I am beat up and crying with the same people. But, at all times–the Spirit is within me–and He is the one who makes the most difficult times appear achievable.

“When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long.

For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was sapped as in the heat of summer.”

Psalm 32:3-4


affair recovery

Not in Egypt

I am not in Egypt anymore. I left Egypt less than two weeks ago, kicking and screaming the whole way out. I wish I could say that I ran from Egypt with my heart completely ready for the journey I was about to face…but I didn’t. I was an Israelite who would have stayed in that place of slavery had God not intervened to save me. The slavery of that sinful place had become familiar and comfortable. Miserable as I was, I clung to it.

Many things happen to a person when they allow themselves to become engulfed in a secret sin for any amount of time. Having a secret from everyone–changes you. Having a secret that I shared with only one other person for a significant amount of time created a bond to that secret and to that sin. Breaking away is not easy. I want it to be easy, but let’s be real, if it was easy to break away…would I REALLY be breaking away? Or would I simply be pushing it down in an effort to say the things that others want to hear, only to be drawn back to it at a later date?

I am not in the Promised Land. I know the stories of this land, but I can’t see it. It’s in the distance, and right now–it’s difficult to believe it really does exist. So each day, I pull my mind away from Egypt in faith and pray for God to move me toward the Promised Land.

I was unfaithful to the man who loves me, and he has chosen to walk in authenticity to a place of healing. Marriage is hard, even without an unfaithful spouse. God in His sovereignty has blessed me with a husband who wants to arrive in the Promise Land with me. Our goal is not the marriage that we once had. Our goal is the marriage we have never known.

So while I make efforts to be sensitive to those around me who have been injured by my sin, I also work to be honest with what is happening inside me. Allowing a sin to control me for as long as it did makes it difficult to deal with the thoughts I am battling. Facing moments of insecurity–which are greater now than ever before–cannot be dealt with in the way I had become accustomed to dealing with them. It’s not possible to sooth myself in the manner I had become accustomed to soothing myself. I have to relearn how to walk in faith.

Hebrews 11:26 recalls the faith of Moses; “considering the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt for he was looking to the reward.”

Every moment of every day is stripped, scrubbed, bathed and wrapped in prayer. Every motive that arises within me is questioned in light of the scriptures I am washing through my mind. Living new again in repentance, I have to retrain my thinking to believe the truths of God’s Word will free me. I have to deny the desire to believe the lies that once held my heart so tightly.  I find comfort in knowing that while there are moments that I feel like I do not have the faith of Moses, God has surrounded me with others who do. When I don’t know how to pray, I call out to others to pray for me.

I will not go back to Egypt. In faith, I will consider the reproach of Christ greater riches and keep believing in the reward that lies ahead.

affair recovery


How could I maintain such a false life?

Why would I make choices that I know are wrong? Why would I lie to the people who love me? Why would I risk hurting so many innocent people? Why would I protect my sin so fiercely? How could I see myself as more important than the truth?  How could I move through each day with what appeared to be joy when there was such depravity and sadness happening inside of me? Didn’t I know this would cause immeasurable damage?

As little as two weeks ago, I could not sit alone with these thoughts. It was too painful to acknowledge the truth of what I was doing. The sin was the only thing that could take my mind off of the truth of the situation. The sin seemed like the only relief from the pain that the sin was causing.

Being bound up by my choices, I had created a hell that I could not escape. I created a situation that was a viscous cycle of lies and continual betrayal. I was not in it alone, but I was alone while in it. I had isolated myself. I pushed people away, while skillfully making them think I was being transparent. I kept conversations light and covered my shame and fears with humor. I could not let down my guard even for one moment.


There is nothing anyone could say about me that I haven’t already said about myself. To imagine what you are capable of is minimal with knowing the truth of that which you are capable. People who love me want to protect me from the “A” word. People who love me want to protect me from wearing a scarlet letter. People who love me want to minimize the shame that I will face. I plead with them to stop protecting me. I feel these things to the depth of my innermost being. What someone else may think is minimal compared to what I know.


It’s 4 AM in the morning and I sit on my front porch holding my bible. In the darkness I know the world is spinning. The light from the sun is breaking the darkness, and the world spins into a new day. For the first time–in a very long time–I am not trying to out-spin it. Love pours down on a soul that has lived for a long time waiting for judgement. The love hurts. Judgement feels appropriate. Having the anger poured out against me would be easier than the grace with which I’ve been met.

Disclosure of the affair meant exposure. Disclosure meant consequences. Exposure and consequences are painful.

The pain washes over me…this is my new reality. I close my eyes and listen to the silent morning, trying to pull the silence into me and soften the blow of the voices that scream out in pain. I heard my own voice crying out for a long time. In moments, the pain exploded everywhere. One voices multiplied into several. Several multiplied into hundreds. I did this.  I long for the time when the pain was just my own and I was not responsible for the pain of others.